Ask the expert: How should I monitor resident work hours?

Residency Program Insider, September 25, 2007

Want to receive articles like this one in your inbox? Subscribe to Residency Program Insider!

While ACGME does not specifically require a monitoring system, you should be monitoring periodically-either informally or formally-that your residents are complying with the work hour requirements.  Considering having an early warning system in place that will allow you to recognize if there are certain rotations or times of the year when residents aren't as able to comply; then do some problem solving to see what can be done about these instances.


A good way to start is with once yearly surveys or resident focus groups. If you identify a problem, you can institute more frequent monitoring. Some programs use swipe card technology to have residents clock in or clock out or they count when the resident first logs into a hospital work station and logs out again. Some track using the times residents enter and exit the garage. These systems may run the risk of overestimating hours; however, they are advantageous in that they don't depend on a resident doing anything extra to track his or her own hours.


There are several proprietary programs which will track duty hours as well. For example, many tracking programs are built into more complex programs on resident scheduling and evaluations. Other programs are designed primarily for duty hours tracking.

Want to receive articles like this one in your inbox? Subscribe to Residency Program Insider!

    Residency Program Alert
  • Residency Program Alert

    Residency program managers in all specialties are challenged to effectively manage their programs as accrediting agencies...

  • Residency Program Insider

    Residency Program Connection is devoted to bringing residency directors and coordinators expert advice, best practice...

Most Popular